Green Ramsey Newsletter - October 2017

Logo Update

Green Ramsey 

An Environmental Health Newsletter from Ramsey County - October 2017




Fix-It Clinic
Ramsey County Library - Maplewood
Saturday, October 28
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
3025 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood, MN 55109

Fix-It Clinic
Wentworth Library (Co-hosted with Dakota County)
Saturday, November 18
12 - 3 p.m.
199 Wentworth Ave. East, West St. Paul, MN 55118

Find more Fix-It Clinic information online.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Mobile Site – October
Maplewood (Aldrich Arena parking lot)
Fridays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1850 White Bear Ave. North, Maplewood, MN 55109



Educational Kits and Games
Teaching about recycling? Borrow an educational kit or game for your class or community group. Reserve online or call 651-266-1199.

Be Active! Be Green! Recycling Container Grants
Need a recycling container in a park or public building? Our Be Active! Be Green! grant program is available for public entities to purchase recycling containers. Help make recycling easier when on-the-go. Call 651-266-1179.

Recycling Bins for Events
Hosting an event? Call 651-266-1199 for temporary bottles and cans recycling bins and organics recycling bins, or reserve them online.

Partners’ Grants
Calling all business organizations in the East Metro! Got a great idea to get other businesses to go green? Use our green to get going.

Public Entity Innovation Grants
Do you have an innovative idea to increase recycling through your city, school, park board, library or watershed district? Grants are available to help kick-start your idea! Call 651-266-1199 or email .

Waste collected in Ramsey and Washington Counties and beyond is hauled to the Recycling & Energy (R&E) Center to be turned into fuel for energy. The R&E Center is owned by the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board.



Green Ramsey is published by the Environmental Health Division of Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health.

2785 White Bear Ave. N.
Suite 350
Maplewood, MN, 55109












Main Photo

Success Stories:

Sunray BP Gas Station Finds Success in Recycling

The Sunray BP gas station in Saint Paul wanted to start a recycling program for all the cardboard and plastic film they generated, but like a lot of small businesses, they had limited space to work with. They also saw the opportunity to offer recycling to their customers. So, they reached out to BizRecycling for assistance in starting a recycling program. BizRecycling works with interested businesses of all sizes in Ramsey and Washington counties to start or improve their recycling or organics programs.

BizRecycling connected Sunray BP with experienced recycling experts who could help develop a better waste management plan for their business. These experts offered Sunray BP advice and guidance on setting up recycling. They also helped them apply for a BizRecycling grant to expand their dumpster enclosure to include a recycling dumpster. The grant also paid for recycling bins and signs at every fuel station, as well as recycling bins for inside the convenience store and in the auto shop area. In addition, Sunray BP staff had the opportunity to be trained by the recycling experts in recycling best practices.

With their new recycling program and a trained staff, the Sunray BP gas station reduced their trash collection from a six-yard container emptied twice a week to a two-yard container emptied once a week. They are now diverting over 30,000 pounds of recyclable materials per year and saving over $3,000 a year on their garbage bill. Not only that, customer feedback has been positive and staff are enthusiastic about recycling.

Sunray BP

News You Can Use:

Funding to Cities for New Recycling Carts

Last year, the Ramsey County Board approved funding assistance for municipalities towards the purchasing of recycling carts. North Oaks utilized this funding to provide carts to their residents last January and in the first six months, they saw a 20 percent increase in recycling. Now, 93 percent of their households participate in the program and are collecting an additional 3.5 tons of recyclable materials each week. Way to go, North Oaks!

North Oaks

Expand Your Recycling

So, you are probably good about recycling cereal boxes, milk jugs, soup cans and other items from your kitchen, but what about the rest of your house? Look in each room and you’ll find lots more recyclable items! Tissue boxes, toilet paper tubes and toiletry boxes from your bathroom are easy items to add to your recycling cart. Empty detergent bottles and fabric softener boxes from the laundry room can be tossed into your recycling cart, too. Don't forget about old magazines, catalogs and shipping boxes from mail orders! Visit for a list of everyday items that are recyclable or contact your recycling service provider for more information. Together, we CAN recycle more!

Cardboard Recycling

Solid Waste Management Master Plan update

In August, Ramsey County held a public input period on the draft of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan. Many comments were received from residents, service providers, municipalities, community groups and other stakeholders. Staff then made revisions based on these comments and sent a final draft to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners. On October 3, the County Board had a policy discussion about the plan and on October 10, the plan will be presented to the County Board for adoption. Once the County Board approves the Master Plan for adoption, it will be forwarded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

Ramsey County Board Approves Designation Ordinance

On October 3, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved amendments to the Ramsey County Solid Waste Ordinance to implement designation of solid waste. Waste designation allows the county to enact an ordinance that requires all or a portion of solid waste to be delivered to a designated waste management facility. In this case, it's the Recycling & Energy (R&E) Center, which Ramsey County co-owns with Washington County.

The role of waste designation is to ensure the supply of Ramsey/Washington County waste in-order-to reduce the direct landfilling by about 100,000 tons per year. This would increase the recovery of resources from Ramsey/Washington waste.

Designation will help the counties meet state, regional and county goals of using waste in the highest and best use. Under designation, the counties can go as far as possible with source reduction and recycling, while maintaining stable facility operations. It will ensure that all waste from the two counties is delivered to the R&E Center, where metals are recycled and trash is made into fuel to be converted to electricity, or at a later date, biofuels.

Visit  and click on “designation” for more information.

Did you know?

Leaves and grass dropped off at Ramsey County Yard Waste sites are pushed into piles and hauled off-site to make a sellable compost product. How is this done? Hired composting companies use a front-end loader to scoop the leaves and grass, then dump the contents into large semi-trailers. It is then delivered to various businesses where it is made into feedstock. The compost is then sold to landscape companies, garden centers and residents. 

However, at the White Bear Township site, leaves and grass are composted onsite. The leaves are put into long rows, called windrows, and turned with a special compost turner designed to grind and aerate the material. This action causes the material to break down faster. This turning also helps to heat up the compost, so weed seeds and plant pathogens are destroyed. After composting for a year, the leaves and grass are completely broken down into an earthy compost product.

When the compost is ready, it’s hauled from the White Bear Township site to the other six-yard waste sites in Ramsey County for residents to take for free. Many residents use the compost as a soil amendment on their lawns or to grow gardens.

Compost benefits plant growth by increasing the organic matter and nutrient content of the soil. This provides better soil structure for root growth, retaining greater soil moisture and reducing problems with pests. Visit to find out if compost is available at a Ramsey County yard waste site.

Yard Waste

Sign up to receive Green Ramsey in your inbox each month.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.